Board of Directors (Jan 28-29)

This one and a half day event provides a full-day educational session, a business meeting and the opportunity to network with the West’s natural gas and electric utility executive community. The agenda is developed by the WEI President and Board Chair to deliver provocative discussions and identifies strategic drivers that influence energy utilities in Western North America and is driven by the yearly theme. Each year the Board of Directors convene twice, once in January/February, and the second coincides with the WEI Annual Meeting to evaluate WEI as a whole. At this meeting, the Board of Directors convene a business session to evaluate WEI’s accomplishments and determine the direction of the association.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Ronald O. Nichols, Southern California Edison

    • Program Location
    • The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
    • 4375 Admiralty Way
      Marina del Rey, CA 90292
    • Who Should Attend
      • WEI Board of Directors members
      • Select invitees
  • Registration Options
  • This meeting is invitation only. Current WEI Board of Directors are welcome to attend free of charge along with a personal guest, (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry).

    Attendee (Special Invite): $599 USD
    This includes Platinum representatives who would like to attend the full agenda on Monday. Registration includes materials, hosted reception and dinner on Sunday, and breakfast, lunch, reception and dinner on Monday.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.
  • For more information contact Anna Sanger Reed, Director of Customer + Corporate Programs at (503) 688-2795.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Executive Committee - Business Session

Committee members only

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Welcome Reception + Dinner

Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell

Monday, January 29, 2018

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Buffet Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

From Data to Decisions: New Technology in Natural Gas Utilities
Moderator(s): Annette Gardiner, Vice President of Gas Strategic Development, Itron, Inc.
Panelist(s): Nathan Carter, Vice President, Edmonton Region Operations, ATCO Gas, Vaughn Shosted, Vice President of Operations, Dominion Energy, Ron Snedic, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Gas Technology Institute

This panel will discuss how layers of data from the plethora of devices and sensors help natural gas transmission and distribution companies excel. Hear how companies are improving asset and outage management through predictive analysis, situational awareness, and artificial intelligence. We will explore how big data from the latest sensor technology is being used most effectively now, and how our panelists plan to use predictive analytics and machine learning in the future. 

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM


10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

The Connected Utility
Moderator(s): Hugo van Nispen, CEO, BRIDGE Energy Group
Panelist(s): David Lebeter, Vice President, Field & Grid Operations, BC Hydro, Pat Hogan, Senior Vice President of Electric Operations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Marc Ulrich, VP of Customer Programs and Services, Southern California Edison, Frank Almaraz, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, CPS Energy

“The connected utility” has a clear and strategic interface between operations and customer service to improve customer satisfaction and overall performance. Our panelists will discuss how their companies have successfully synchronized operations work with their customers’ experiences and expectations. We will focus on what steps should be taken from data acquisition to analytics to maximize system performance. 

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

The Challenges and Opportunities for Natural Gas in California
Moderator(s): Deborah Affonsa, Vice President, Customer Service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Panelist(s): Arne Olson, Partner, E3, Ronald Nichols, President, Southern California Edison, Bret Lane, President and Chief Operating Officer, Southern California Gas Company

This panel will discuss new strict regulations (GO 112F), the future of natural gas given the legislative and political environment moves toward 100% renewable, and opportunities for natural gas. Panelists will also discuss what their companies are doing around clean transportation, electrification and compressed natural gas.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM


2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Operationalizing Risk Management to Strengthen your Business Position
Moderator(s): Grant Davies, Partner, Accenture Inc
Panelist(s): Diana Day, VP, Enterprise Risk Management & Compliance, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Janaize Markland, Director, Enterprise Risk Management, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Ram Sastry, Vice President - Infrastructure & Business Continuity, AEP

Utilities have always managed risks to maintain a successful business model. In the wake of significant and high-profile incidents, regulators across North America are asking questions about the safety of utility energy delivery systems (both electrical and gas). This is leading to new risk management regulatory policies, practices, and requirements. This constantly evolving environment presents a variety of challenges that can stand in the way of providing safe, reliable, and affordable services to customers. For utility leadership, the question is how to go beyond regulatory requirements to operationalize risk management and strengthen their business position.

4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Board of Directors - Business Session

Board members only

6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Board Reception + Dinner

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (855) 556-3478 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $269/night. This rate is guaranteed until January 5, 2018 or until the WEI room block is full.

Program Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Aclara-01-01Booz-01Bridge-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01KS Energy Services-01Landis+Gyr-01Mosaic-01-01NPL-01Picarro-01Potelco-01PWC-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01Siemens-01Tendril-01

Gold Sponsors:
ABDD-01ActiveTelesource-01AmecFoster-01Acros-01Asplundh-01 Barnard-01Black + Veatch-01Esource-01Energy Care-01EnergyOttawa-01HGCA-01IBM-01Intel-01Intren-01Leidos-01Mears-01Milwaukee-01Nexant-01PrintRicoh-01SEL-01-01     snelson_300dpiTDW-03-01The HDD Company-01Towers Watson-01Trimble-01Underground Construction-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWWilson Construction-01

Meet The Speakers

Annette Gardiner

Itron, Inc.

Vice President of Gas Strategic Development

Nathan Carter


Vice President, Edmonton Region Operations

Hugo van Nispen

BRIDGE Energy Group


David Lebeter

BC Hydro

Vice President, Field & Grid Operations

Marc Ulrich

Southern California Edison

VP of Customer Programs and Services

Arne Olson



Bret Lane

Southern California Gas Company

President and Chief Operating Officer

Ronald Nichols

Southern California Edison


Grant Davies

Accenture Inc


Diana Day

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

VP, Enterprise Risk Management & Compliance

Janaize Markland

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Director, Enterprise Risk Management

Pat Hogan

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Senior Vice President of Electric Operations

Vaughn Shosted

Dominion Energy

Vice President of Operations

Ronald Snedic

Gas Technology Institute

Senior Vice President, Corporate Development

Frank Almaraz

CPS Energy

Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations

Deborah Affonsa

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Vice President, Customer Service

Ram Sastry


Vice President - Infrastructure & Business Continuity